Chances are high that eight-ish weeks from now we’ll have a baby in our arms (I can’t even believe it), and I’ve found myself thinking lately about the things that I consider “successes” with Hadley that I want to try again with Sadie as well as the areas that I want to do better at, or at least differently.
Because we’re often our own worst critics, making a list of things that I want to do differently comes easier.
Parenting mistakes and five things I want to do better with newborn #2
- I want to give breastfeeding a much better shot. I did really well in the hospital breastfeeding Hadley, but two days after we got home things fell apart. She and I were both hysterical that she wasn’t eating, and seeing my brand new breast pump offered me a solution that worked well for both of us. I consulted a lactation consultant for help, but when things fell apart again I decided to exclusively pump. I pumped for four months straight and then we transitioned to formula to help with the ease of a cross-country move and a generally constant fussy baby. Though I do not have any regrets about our feeding choices with Hadley because I truly believe we were just doing the very best we could at the time, I do want to put in more effort and time with Sadie to make breastfeeding work.
- I want to focus 100% on my girls before other hobbies/self-imposed obligations. Once I got home with Hadley I immediately went right back to frequent cleaning, trying to socialize, Christmas shopping, and I even dove into starting my own business with a direct sales company… two weeks after becoming a mom! Obviously bringing a baby home can be stressful, but I added a lot of unnecessary stress to my plate during a time when I should have been focusing on my newborn baby above all else. This time around I want to be fully present with my girls without feeling obliged to other things and stretching myself too thin. For a month or two, I want to be okay with everything else in my life being on the back burner.
- I want to soak up more newborn chest snuggles. I remember Hadley sleeping on my chest or in my arms and frequently wanting to transition her to her swing to sleep so that I could get other things done. I didn’t realize that babies only sleep on your chest for a few weeks… maybe three or four. It was such a shockingly short stage. Now that I know how truly numbered those days are, I want to soak up more couch time and snuggle my baby even though it’s beautiful outside or there’s a sink full of dishes to clean (letting go of the dishes is hard for me though – I loathe dishes in the sink).
- I want to do better about letting my old routine go and giving myself grace and time to slowly find a new one. After having Hadley I was convinced that things would get back to normal with time. In hindsight, things never got “back to normal”, but rather I had to make a completely new normal. This time around I don’t want to try so hard to get right back to our old routines; I know better now that adding a newborn to the mix calls for making some unforeseen adjustments to nearly every routine you have.
- I will give myself time before focusing on weight loss. Because I was so desperate to fit back into my old clothes and look better in my bridesmaid dress in an upcoming wedding I immediately dove into a strict diet regiment. Though I felt more confident after shedding the excessive weight I’d gained during pregnancy, focusing on meal planning and strict calorie intake was a lot of work and took away some of my focus from my newborn and my general recovery from delivery. Though the diet regiment I stuck to was successful for me and one I would consider doing again, I want to give myself time before making that kind of commitment.
What were some of the biggest adjustments you had to make after bringing home baby #2?